Celebrate the weekend with the most glorious GIF you’ll ever see

Holy cow, it’s Friday already! It’s been a busy week of controversy, Presidential sushi, more controversy, and just a little bit about huge penises over here at your ever faithful RocketNews24. We’re exhausted from the last few days–and we bet you’re tired from working and/or studying, too. You might even need a little pick-me-up so that you can enjoy the weekend properly. Well, we have just what the doctor ordered!

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20 Fujoshi arrested for creating homoerotic fan fiction in China

The concept of women envisioning and writing male homoerotic stories has been around for quite some time. Around the 70s, it seemed to have taken a hold both in America where it became known as “slash” and seemingly independently in Japan where it acquired the name “yaoi” and its writers took up the nickname “fujoshi” or “rotten girls.”

Both arts take male characters which are living, completely fictional, or derived from other popular fictional works, and place them in romantic or erotic situations. All throughout the genre’s evolution, it has found trouble with the general public around the world, and this time it appears a group of fujoshi have run afoul of the law in China, where such works are called “dan mei”, and are looking at possible prison time for violating the country’s decency laws.

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Interview with a banana carving master: We get advice on the art from Keisuke Yamada

Earlier this month we highlighted the work of banana engraver Keisuke Yamada. His highly detailed and potassium rich recreations of popular people and characters had made him something of a celebrity around Japan and abroad. In several of his TV interviews he had mentioned how he would like to see an increase in banana artists.

This inspired our own reporter Hotaru to take up the noble art of banana carving herself. So under the guise of a RocketNews24 reporter this future artist arranged an interview with Mr. Yamada, in hopes of secretly learning how to be a famous banana engraver herself.

It didn’t hurt that he was kind of cute too.

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Aomori? Here! Fukushima? Here! Saitama? Here but I have a cold…

Homeroom, that fateful time of day before real classes start where the teacher calls roll to see which kids successfully rolled out of bed that morning. Some countries don’t have an official “homeroom”. They just call your name and classes begin. But in Japan, homeroom is a whole different beast. And the surprise of one Twitter user at how homeroom is conducted in Saitama Prefecture versus the rest of the country makes for a good laugh, especially because of the comments from other people around Japan.

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Sailor Moon team is ready to keep your legs warm, nose dry with tights and tissue holders

It’s hard to find a universally hated member of the central cast of hit anime Sailor Moon. Even the titular character herself, for all her whiny and lazy tendencies, is so loyal to her friends that it’s hard not to root for her.

But while having a universally appealing ensemble cast makes for a great TV show, it puts fans in a bit of a quandary when they’re buying Sailor Moon goodies. With five principal heroines, how do you choose which one’s merchandise to buy?

Easy: you don’t, and instead grab a pouch or pair of leggings that features all five of the main Sailor Scouts.

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Chinese man collects 5,000 bras, decorates his house with them

Plenty of people collect things; anime figurines, model trains, coins, stamps, and the list goes on. It almost seems like human instinct to amass piles of similarly useless objects together. Some people have incredibly unique collections that reflect and combine their own personal interests. And then there are those odd collections that crop up that amaze you, not only for the sheer dedication of the collector to his or her passion, but for the fact that someone out there could actually be so crazy for that particular thing. Like bras. 

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Toilet paper featuring Miffy the bunny promises to be far cuter before you use it than after

Dutch children’s book author and artist Dick Bruna has created a number of characters, but his most popular of all is the good-natured rabbit named Miffy. Japan has embraced the character wholeheartedly, and at stores across the country you can find Miffy stuffed animals, stationary, and bento boxes.

And starting next month, you’ll be able to get your hands on Miffy toilet paper as well.

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Bangkok’s Snake Farm: Saving lives and teaching the world about snake penises 【Photos】

Did you know that a king cobra has venom powerful enough to bring down an elephant? Were you aware that snake anti-venom is produced by injecting venom into horses? How about about that snakes have two penises, called hemipenes, that they alternate?

You can learn all these crazy serpent facts and more at Bangkok’s Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute and Snake Farm, as well as take in a snake handling show, a venom extraction demonstration, and check out about 40 different species of snakes endemic to Thailand.

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What’s for breakfast at Burger King Japan? Spamburgers!

It’s no surprise that the fast food market is a competitive one, particularly in Japan where restaurants go to great lengths to create the most unique items to bring in the customers.

This time, Burger King Japan has announced a new breakfast line-up of unique items not often found in fast food joints. At the head of this new seven-item menu is the wonderful Spam & Cheese for 260 yen (US$2.54).

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Pirates, poems, and cows all appear on Japanese parents’ top 10 manga picks for kids

The common logic is that children shouldn’t waste their time reading comic books, but it’s a little hard for parents to lay down that blanket rule when mom and dad used to be, or maybe still are, avid manga comic fans themselves. After all, how can you tell your kids they can’t read Bleach when you’ve got a trip to the bookstore penciled in on your schedule whenever a new volume of Attack on Titan gets released?

As more and more adults hang on to their love of comics, the question seems to have shifted from “Is it OK for your kids to read manga?” to “Which manga do you want your kids to read?” with a recent poll providing some interesting and informative answers.

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“A Cyberpunk Adventure: Harry Potter The 1980s Anime” just made our day

Ever wondered what J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter would have looked like if it had been an anime made in the 1980s? Neither had we, but now that we’ve seen it we think it’s the <hyperbole but for good reason> BEST THING EVER </hyperbole>.

Join us after the jump for bike-based quidditch, a cat-eared Hermione, Tetsuo/Voldemort battles and more.

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It’s a cat! No, it’s an owl! No no no… it’s a “meowl”! 【Photos】

In Chinese, owls are called “猫头鹰” (mao tou ying), which would mean “cat-headed eagle”, if translated literally. Now, imagine an eagle with a cat’s head… it would probably look rather silly, wouldn’t it? An owl with a cat’s head, however, looks surprisingly natural!

Check out these awesome “meowls”!

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Japanese archery: The coolest school club ever?

Bukatsu, or club activities, are a big part of school life in Japan. In the majority of schools, all kids are required to become a member of a club, be it track and field, judo, or even computer club, and have to attend every session regardless of the time of year and the weather (yes, athletics club kids jog up and down the hallways when it’s raining heavily). Naturally, there are distinct levels of coolness that students are more than aware of when they sign up, with clubs like baseball generally considered to be for the jocks, and soccer-bu for those who want to look good while sharpening their shooting skills.

Japanese archery, or kyūdō to use its native moniker, may not be considered the coolest club to belong to by kids in Japan, but as this video from Japanese culture blogger Danny Choo shows, as far as non-Japanese are concerned, it’s pretty epic, and if we were somehow reincarnated as a Japanese high schooler it’s definitely the club we’d sign up for.

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Microsoft’s cringeworthy new Surface ad makes Japan squirm in unison

Anyone who’s watched more than a smidgen of Japanese TV will tell you that the line between “appropriately heartwarming” and “so cheesy you want to tear your eyeballs out” is drawn in a different place in this country. It can seem like every exchange in a Japanese drama is overly emotionally charged. Why are the actor’s reactions so exaggerated? Does it really have to rain every time someone is sad? And why is there someone running through the streets frantically in every single episode? I have grown to love J-drama’s clichés and warm heart, but still occasionally regard Japanese acting as perplexingly over-done.

It’s heartening to discover, then, that a series of spectacularly cringe-inducing ads for Microsoft’s Surface tablets have been widely panned in Japan, as the nation screams, “Stop! You’re hurting my ears!” in one voice. Let’s take a look at this awkward new advertisement in all its glory.

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CATable promises to get the cat off your laptop and into the desk

Hong Kong-based designer, Ruan Hao, of architecture firm, LYCS, has created the CATable, a desk filled with tunnels and passageways for your cat to explore while you type away on the table top. It combines modern design with feline functionality, giving rise to the ultimate work/play…with your cat, desk. However, like with any expensive toy, your cat may just land up playing with the box it came in instead.

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Greenpeace tells Obama to make ‘more responsible’ food choices after meal at restaurant that serves endangered sushi

After President Barack Obama ate at a famous Tokyo restaurant that serves rare bluefin tuna, the environmental organization Greenpeace issued a statement saying he should have made more “responsible food choices.”

“As a role model, people will naturally follow you. The global appetite for bluefin tuna has destroyed this species, pushing it to the brink of extinction. It needs to be protected,” Casson Trenor, Greenpeace’s oceans campaigner, said in a statement to Business Insider.

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Justin Bieber’s Yasukuni Shrine visit draws scorn from Asian fans

Being an international pop star like Canada’s Justin Bieber is certain to have its share of pitfalls. Scandals such as unfortunate comments at the Anne Frank house and more recently charges of drunk driving and egging a house have continued to dog him.

So this Easter weekend, the award-winning performer made a trip to Japan to get away from it all. After all, what could possibly go wrong here?

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All-in-one bed is perfect for you, you lazy bum (Also, why don’t you get a job?)

We can all agree that being lazy is the best. There’s nothing quite like spending a weekend catching up on Game of Thrones, stuffing your face with pizza and taking care of certain, uh… solo carnal needs (Just me?). That said, laziness can be a slippery slope. One too many unproductive weekends can easily turn into a vicious cycle of booze, potato chips and Three’s Company reruns just as addictive as any illicit substance.

That’s why this all-in-one lazy-enabling bed is probably downright dangerous.  With the proper placement, this bed allows you to do practically anything other than go to the bathroom without ever taking a single step away from your mattress.

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The wacky world of video game advertising in the ‘80s and ‘90s

With the video game industry’s heavy reliance on Internet-based marketing, pretty much every gamer has read months’ worth of interviews and development blogs, plus seen dozens of video previews, before he plunks down cash for a major title. If anything, there’s the occasional problem of having too much advance information, therein spoiling some of the surprises when you finally get to play the game.

Things weren’t always this way, though. Before having Internet service went from being a technophile luxury to a modern necessity, video game advertising came in smaller bursts. The market was still far too small to justify the high costs of regular commercials on TV, so publishers looking to drum up sales would take out single-page, or in the case of companies with deep pockets, double-page, magazine advertisements.

Today, we look back at some of these ads from the ‘80s and ‘90s, the problem of having to catch your target audience’s attention with just a few still images, and the sometimes puzzling solutions game companies came up with.

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There has been a lot of talk online in Japan recently about Rina Nanase. Known as Rumi Kanda in her adult video days, the young model has been surprisingly open about turning to plastic surgery to change the shape of her face.

In a process that she began chronicling via Twitter late last year, Nanase has made a number of changes to her eyes, nose, and chin. Now that she has shared photos of her “finished” look, however, many are calling it “way too much,” with some even suggesting that she now resembles the character Dobby from the Harry Potter movies.

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